One question that seems never to be answered is, "What about baptism?" Baptism is a vital part of the believer's life, yet there seems to be a great deal of confusion as the importance of baptism, as well as the method in which we should baptize. This information has been prepared to help you understand the importance that Jesus placed on baptism, as well as the proper method with which to be baptized.
WHAT ABOUT BAPTISM?
Jesus said, "Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19.
Every conversion that is described in any detail at all in the New Testament after the establishment of the church includes baptism. Belief was always a prerequisite. True belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord was the condition that had to exist before on Christian baptized another, Acts 8:36-38. Baptism was never willingly administered to an unbeliever. It is impossible to obey the Lord and at the same time refuse to be baptized. It is not only a great responsibility to be baptized, but a wonderful, glorious opportunity to be identified with our Lord in this marvelous way.
Baptism ". . .means the ability to face God with a clear conscience, for there is in every true baptism the virtue of Christ's rising from the dead.", I Peter 3:21. We must be very careful not to conclude that baptism saves, for Ephesians 2:8-9 says, " by grace are you saved through faith." We are not saved by church membership, faithful attendance, the Lord's supper, or baptism, or all of these things put together. We trust ourselves to Jesus Christ as our Savior, and He alone has the power to save.
Baptism symbolize the death burial, and resurrection of Jesus and our own relationship to His victory over sin, death and the grave, Roman 6:35. The one being baptized is presenting himself as a dead person to be buried with Christ saying, "I am finished with the old life. I want to live in the power of the Resurrection Life of Jesus. I will be loyal to the kingdom of god."
HOW DOES GOD EXPECT ME TO BE BAPTIZED?
Many of the large denominations employ the practice fob sprinkle water over the candidates' head for their baptism. Some perform the same ordinance by pouring water over the body. While still other churches still immerse or put the candidate completely beneath the water for an instant. Which is right?
The New Testament was originally written in Greek. The Greek word for baptism is "baptizo", which mean to dip or immerse. The Greek for the act of pouring is "Cheo". Greek for sprinkling is "raino" would be used, is pouring, "Cheo". If the form made no difference: then "budraino". Greek scholars, ancient and modern, are in complete accord on this matter.
The circumstantial evidence furnished by the scriptures, themselves, is for immersion. John was baptizing at Enon, near Salem, because there was much water, or many waters, (John 3:23). Jesus, Himself, "...when He was baptized went up straightway out of the water..." (Matthew 3:16) "... was baptized .. in Jordan ( River) ...coming up out of the water..." (Mark1:9-10). Philip took the Ethiopian "down into the water" ( Acts 8:39) after his baptism. The Apostle Paul told the Colossians that baptism was a form of "burial" (Colossian 2:12) with Christ. To the Romans (6:4), Paul told them that they were baptized into Christ's death by burial and likened it to a form or planting ( or covered up, Romans 6:5)
Baptism is symbolic, symbolizing the burial and the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This symbol would be destroyed in sprinkling and pouring Sprinkling as a mode of baptism was begun by the Roman Catholic Church and was originated by them as a fact and can be read in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia Vol.3, page 236, Article "Baptism".
Should I be rebaptized if I have been sprinkled? It is not for any man to judge another. Man's responsibility is to respond to the truth as it is revealed to him. Only God has the answer. Ask God, then obey.
We read in the New Testament about a preacher who was confused about baptism ( Acts 18:25 19:5). Apollos was a Greek , still baptizing people in the baptism or repentance as John had. He didn't know of Jesus' ministry and Lordship. When he was convinced, we don't know for sure if he was rebaptized, but we know his convert were immersed in the Name of the Lord.
The Bible way then is the to respond to the new truth and not be ashamed of it. Many of our loved ones perhaps have been sprinkled; they responded to the truth they knew. Each of us must do likewise responding in the manner the Lord has shown us through His Word and His servants.
HOW DO WE BAPTIZE?
There is some confusion in the church world today as to the method of baptism. Should we baptize in Jesus name only or should we be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost? This question comes from the book of Acts where we read repeatedly the command to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
Why the straight forward reference to the name of Jesus? I believe Acts 19:16 best explains this question. Paul found certain believers worshipping at Corinth and asked
"Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?"
They responded that they did not understand what Paul meant by the Holy Ghost. Paul then asked, "Unto what then were ye baptized?", or by what authority have ye been baptized? Were they baptized by the laws of the Jewish purification, John's baptism or by what authority? They then responded, "by John's baptism, or by the authority of John the Baptist. Paul then replied that John had baptized with the power and authority of God, but now there was a new and everlasting covenant. Jesus had paid the price for sin and had conquered hell, death and the grave. Now it was time to recognize the authority of Jesus Christ, to identify with His death, burial and resurrection. They willingly obeyed and received the indwelling Spirit of God as well as the baptism of the Holy Spirit. All that we do in the New Testament Church is done in the authority of the name of Jesus, for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved. All power in heaven and earth rest upon that name and the ability of the believer to use that name.
WHAT METHOD DO WE USE?
We believe that it is pleasing to God when we totally immerse those who come for water baptism. We are buried with Him in baptism and raised to walk again in the newness of life. What should be said over the person being baptized if anything? Jesus established this in Matthew 28:18-19... "All power is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name qf the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
WHAT DO WE SAY?
In an effort to silence those who would say you must be baptized in the name of the Lord we say the following:
"In obedience to the command of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and based, on the profession of your faith, I now baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost in the authority of the name of Jesus."
Baptism is held each Thursday night immediately following Praise and Worship at the North location until the new buildings are completed. Those desiring to be baptized should be at service 1/2 hour early, or at 7:00 P. M. Baptism is done by two (2) called ministers of the gospel and may not necessarily be the Senior Pastor doing the baptizing.
The men who are to be baptized should bring a towel, slacks, a white shirt, white socks, and a change of clothes. The women who are to be baptized should bring a towel and a change of clothes (suitable for maintaining moisture without being transparent after becoming wet). Preferably, a dark T-shirt, dark pants, white socks, and a change of clothes.
SHOULD MY BABY BE BAPTIZED?
The practice of infant christening comes from an old doctrine that babies were guilty of sin inherited from Adam. Therefore, they were christened or "christianized" and give a "Christian name". Now we understand that we become a Christian by receiving Christ as our Savior by faith and then we obey Him in immersion or baptism as he commands. "By grace are ye saved through faith..." This capacity is beyond the grasp of an infant who is christened.
There is no precept or example in the New Testament for infant baptism. Throughout the Scriptures, there are certain elements always connected with baptism. Jesus told His disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) to teach or make disciples, then to baptize them. Infants cannot be taught in this capacity. Mark's Gospel account of the same incident (Mark 16: 15, 16) indicates one must be a believer and be baptized. A baby cannot exercise this kind of faith. In Acts 2:37, 38, the Apostle Peter was preaching, the people were convicted of their sin and wanted to know how to be saved. Peter told them to repent and be baptized. Conviction and repentance are beyond infants' minds. Philip told the Ethiopian he could be baptized if he believed with his whole heart. The man confessed Christ first, then was baptized (Acts 8:36, 37).
In the "household" baptisms that are elaborated on in the New Testament it is clearly shown that these conditions were present. The baptized were hearers and believers, they rejoiced, and they served.
Then surely God must consider a child "safe" if not saved. Otherwise He would have given definite instructions in His Word. II Samuel 12:15-23 indicates that a baby went to its eternal reward after death where its godly father would also go after his death (heaven).
We do not baptize babies. However, we do follow the tradition of blessing babies and dedicating them to the Lord. After a married couple is blessed with a child, many times others want to be a part of the child's development and spiritual growth. One Sunday of each month in the regular services, babies are dedicated and Godparents are recognized. A scheduling for Baby Dedication must be made through our Membership Services Dept.